From the recent rally in Indian equity markets it’s clear that investors have high hopes for an economic recovery after the forthcoming general election.
The expectation is that a strong and stable government will push through hard-hitting reforms and revive growth in Asia’s third largest economy. It seems, however, that chief executives are less optimistic that a change of government will create a swift turnaround. Continue reading »
** FT News **
* Hunt for mystery air passengers intensifies | As search for Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared continues, efforts to identify passengers travelling on stolen passports is also intensifying
* Poor China exports data damp mood | Bourses mixed after weak trade figures from the world’s second-largest economy and a downward revision to Japan GDP growth
* Russian forces tighten control of Crimea | Russian troops take over a Ukrainian border post in the west of the region and now occupy a dozen such posts, according to the Ukrainian border guard Continue reading »
The unrest that has left at least 20 people dead goes on in Venezuela. Over the weekend, protesters were confronted by security forces while attempting to make an “empty pots march” on the food ministry in Caracas, fed up with worsening shortages that have left one in four basic goods missing from the city’s shops.
One cause is a chronic, government-imposed shortage of dollars to pay for imports. While resisting calls for wholesale reform, on Monday officials are set to launch a new, less stringent system of foreign exchange controls that, it is hoped, will provide some relief. Continue reading »
In most democracies, by the time an election approaches the field of possible prime ministers or presidents has narrowed to two or three.
Not so in India. Narendra Modi, the candidate of the Hindu nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, remains the favourite to replace Congress’s Manmohan Singh and become India’s next prime minister, but the field of possible alternatives seems to be growing by the week. Continue reading »
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** FT News **
* Poor China exports data damp Asia mood | Bourses fall in response to weak trade figures from the world’s second-largest economy and a downward revision to Japan GDP growth
* Analysts shrug off China bond default | China’s first corporate bond default has been broadly welcomed as an example of Beijing getting tough as they seek ways to cut overcapacity in certain sectors of the economy Continue reading »
Imagine you are a Latin American country with a dominant media group. You could a) whip out your “butcher’s knife” to chop it down to size, or b) try the more softly-softly approach of seeking to shrink its influence by expanding the market.
No prizes for identifying the former as Argentina’s favoured approach. Cristina Fernández, the president, has been hell-bent on curbing the reach and power of the arch-opposition media empire, Grupo Clarín, and its Cablevision pay-TV unit. Regulators in Buenos Aires last month passed a break-up plan. Continue reading »
India’s equity markets closed at a new all-time high on Friday, beating the record set in the previous session, while Arvind Kejriwal, head of the anti-corruption Aam Admi Party was refused an appointment with Narendra Modi, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate. Continue reading »
Remember that note from Goldman Sachs? The one where the US investment bank upgraded its assessment of the Indian economy on hopes that Narendra Modi, the pro-business prime ministerial candidate for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), would lead India’s next government?
Then, New Delhi was up in arms and accused Goldman of interfering. Now, it seems Goldman was only saying what all investors were thinking. Indian markets closed at record highs on Thursday and again on Friday, after the Election Commission announced dates for the voting and opinion polls showed Modi gaining popular support. Continue reading »
There are frontier investment markets, and then there is Iraq. Bombings and fighting killed at least 42 people on Thursday alone, in nine or more separate explosions from Baghdad to Fallujah; yet so commonplace is the violence that the news merited few headlines. After all, at least 24 had died in explosions the previous day.
Yet despite the violence and uncertainty, fund managers and bankers are venturing in to the country, attracted by oil wealth and a surprisingly upbeat outlook for national GDP growth. Continue reading »
** FT News **
* Obama chides Putin over Ukraine stance | Barack Obama tells Vladimir Putin that Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty as the leaders discuss the crisis for the second time in a week
* China suffers first corporate bond default | Shanghai Chaori Solar, a small Chinese solar power company, defaults on a $14.6m bond with no sign of a government-led bailout
* India stocks hit record on election hopes | Many investors hopeful a coalition led by Narendra Modi will be sworn in just days after voting closes, potentially signalling an economic turnround Continue reading »
By Ben Aris of bne in Moscow
Get used to it: from now on you will have to order ‘Chicken Kyiv’ rather than ‘Kiev’ after the US slapped sanctions on Russia.
Ukrainians have long been irked by the international media’s insistence on spelling the name of their capital ‘Kiev’, which is a transliteration from the Cyrillic of the Russian spelling of the name. Continue reading »
In the first of a two-part series John Authers and London Business School’s Elroy Dimson delve into the history of emerging markets, which have yet to make up ground lost after the second world war. But they are growing less volatile – and more correlated with the developed world.
Its population is bigger than Brazil’s. The way its people vote can decide the direction taken by world’s largest democracy. No state in India is more important in the country’s forthcoming general election than Uttar Pradesh, the underdeveloped northern state of 200m people.
Of the 814m eligible voters mentioned by the Election Commission when it announced the April and May polling dates this week, 134m are in Uttar Pradesh. Continue reading »
** FT News **
* Asia ending wobbly week on firmer footing | Week that began with a global shift from risky assets is poised to end with broad equity gains as focus swings from Ukraine to key US jobs report
* India’s working women find strength in numbers | Mentoring schemes for professionals ease sense of isolation Continue reading »
Imagine you are a young business in a former Soviet Republic, about to enter a greenfield investment with new Russian partners in a project in Russia for which you are providing the $1bn investment capital. Given the recent events in Ukraine, would you be feeling more or less nervous than you were a few months ago?
“We know that we are vulnerable,” says Nasib Piriyev, chief executive of the Azerbaijan Methanol Company. “Moscow has inherited the policies of the Soviet Union and it works with the same instruments.” Continue reading »